Billionaire Space Race: Branson aims to be ahead of Bezos Space News
Branson’s July 11 mission will be VSS Unity’s 22nd flight test and the company’s fourth manned space flight.
Branson’s space travel company said on Thursday that billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson will head to the edge of space during a test flight of Virgin Galactic Holdings on July 11, defeating the billionaire and aspiring aerospace Jeff Bezos.
Branson’s successful flight on Virgin’s VSS Unity space plane will mark an important milestone in the opening of a new era of private commercial space travel.
This also means that Branson will surpass the earth’s atmosphere ahead of Bezos, the founder of rival space tourism company Blue Origin.
Bezos, who founded the retail giant Amazon, will fly to space with his brother Mark on July 20. Mark, pioneering female pilot Wally Fink and a so far unidentified person invested 28 million The US dollar joins the suborbital drive.
Reuters reported last month that just a few days before Bezos’ planned trip, Branson was considering a program stealing mission.
The competition also includes SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, whose optimism supports the mainstream of space travel, as emerging technologies are validated and costs drop. UBS predicts that by 2030, the annual travel market It may reach US$3 billion. Musk has not yet confirmed the date of his space flight.
“Virgin Galactic is at the forefront of a new commercial space industry that will open space to mankind and change the world forever,” Branson said in a statement accompanying Virgin’s announcement.
Virgin stated that Branson’s July 11 mission will be the 22nd flight test of VSS Unity and the company’s fourth manned space flight.
But it will be the first to carry two pilots and four “mission experts”, including all crew members including Branson.
Virgin Atlantic said it plans to conduct two additional test flights before Virgin Atlantic expects to begin commercial service in 2022.